How Much Can I Earn as an Electrical Engineer?

According to Ziprecruiter, here are the pay scales for some of the more popular jobs in electrical and electronics engineering.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

August 9, 2023

12 Min Read
Electrical and electronics engineers have various opportunities, many with high salaries, to choose from.Hinterhaus Productions/ Stone Collection/Via Getty Images

While subject to the economic cycles that affect other careers, electrical engineering is one of the more interesting and lucrative engineering fields to enter. The long-term demand for electrical engineers should remain strong, thanks to continuing growth in areas such as electric and autonomous vehicles, power infrastructure, communications, the Internet of Things, appliances, and consumer products. Government initiatives to increase onshore manufacturing will also create opportunities in new and expanded semiconductor manufacturing plants.

Electrical engineers design circuits and determine how they travel through a building, as well as find ways to make electronics work more efficiently. Electrical engineers also work in manufacturing, creating electrical and electronic components. The duties of this field require one to connect wires to circuit boards or perform similar tasks.

Ziprecruiter has compiled a listing of popular electrical engineering specialties, describing their duties and providing salary ranges. 

Mixed Signal Design Engineer

Salary range: $110,000-$188,000 per year

A mixed signal design engineer contributes to the entire life cycle of a mixed signal integrated circuit. Duties include the design of analog cells, performing verification tasks, validation and simulation of device assembly, the improvement upon an existing block system, and client support and maintenance. Mixed-signal design engineers work both independently and in a team environment on interface technology in product specification, device characterization, floor planning, layout supervision, transistor-level design, and chip level verification.

Related:More Career Advice for Engineering Graduates


FPGA Engineer

Salary range: $128,000-$170,500 per year

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are integrated circuits used in a variety of technology hardware that are designed to be programmed after they are manufactured. An FPGA engineer uses Hardware Description Language (HDL) to develop and test the configuration that is programmed into these circuits. They may also be responsible for integrating several FPGAs together to form a more complex working system.


Electrical Hardware Engineer

Salary range: $101,000-$159,000 per year

An electrical hardware engineer develops, tests, and adjusts the electrical components for computers and other electronics. Responsibilities include designing and create electrical systems, troubleshooting issues, making modifications to improve the device, and perform ongoing maintenance and repair.

Electrical hardware engineers also prepare detailed and accurate documents on the plan, as well as notes on development and testing. Electrical hardware engineers work with both analog and digital circuitry and use both design software and physical tools, such as soldering irons and magnifiers.

Related:Top 25 Colleges for Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering Manager

Salary range: $118,000-$156,500 per year

Electrical engineering manager manage electrical engineering projects for companies. Duties include making hiring decisions, troubleshooting common problems, and give the final approval for the design of an electrical system. While primarily a management position, electrical engineering managers require sufficient electrical system knowledge to make major decisions.

Electrical engineering managers must also memorize and enforce all relevant regulations, including OSHA safety guidelines for working on or near electrical systems.


System Safety Engineer

Salary range: $110,000-$152,500 per year

A system safety engineer helps to develop, refine, and update safety protocols and software that controls a large system and ensures that even if aspects of the system fail, it does not put the entire system at jeopardy. A system safety engineer must ensure that one system failure oes not affect other systems or endanger critical life support systems. Systems safety engineering is essential in a wide range of fields, from civil engineering and aeronautics to software and hardware engineering and power plant systems.


Principal Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $104,500-$145,500 per year

A principal electrical engineer serves as a project manager for electrical-related building or construction projects. Duties may include designing electrical devices, ensuring proper installation, inspecting completed electrical work, and providing work estimates. Principal electrical engineers may also supervise a staff of junior engineers, overseeing their work, and ensure that the project is completed within the allotted timeframe and budget. Because principal electrical engineers are often the liaison between the engineering team and upper management, they must create reports and communicate regular updates on project status to ensure each stage is meeting deadline expectations.


Electrical Power Engineer

Salary range: $88,500-$145,500 per year

An electrical power engineer is responsible for power system management. An electrical power engineer ensures the efficient functionality of the electrical power grid. Duties include designing components for the grid, such as generators, transformers, circuit breakers, and transmission lines. They ensure that power stations distribute power to customers efficiently, and manage different types of power systems, such as alternating and direct current. Electrical power engineers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, state licensure, and experience with power systems.


PCB Design Engineer

Salary range: $102,000-$143,000 per year

A printed circuit board design engineer oversees the creation of printed circuit boards (PCB) used in phones, computers, and most other electronic devices. A PCB design engineer designs the layout of the unit to incorporate the appropriate components, making recommendations to improve existing designs, and overseeing the actual manufacturing of these products to ensure they meet industry and company standards. Most employers prefer at least an associate degree in an electronics or computer science related field.


Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $82,000-$140,500 per year

Electrical engineers design, test, and fix devices relating to electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. An electrical engineer builds virtually every tool in the world that produces, conducts, or operates by way of electricity. Electrical engineers handle the research, design, installation, and handover of new electrical equipment. They also run tests on new devices and solve problems on malfunctioning systems and components. Electrical engineers work with a wide range of electronic equipment, from tiny microchips to supercomputers up to massive power station generators. They have their hands on a myriad of electrical components during their work, including conductors, batteries, capacitors, coils, magnets, transistors, and switches.


Printed Circuit Board Designer

Salary range: $82,000-$140,000 per year

A printed circuit board designer (PCB designer) plans the layout of circuits for products such as computers, phones, games, and other devices. A PCB designer uses computer-aided design programs to create assembly drawings, which are then used by manufacturers in the production of products on a large scale. Responsibilities include rigorously testing all plans to avoid malfunction or component failure, and producing documentation that proves adherence to industry and legal standards, such as those laid out by the Institute of Printed Circuits (IPC)..


Senior Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $107,500-$139,500 per year

A senior electrical engineer can work in various industries that deal with both large and small-scale electrical systems, including HVAC, power generation and transmission, telecommunications, renewable energy, lighting, electric components in housing, mobile networking, finance, and more. A senior electrical engineer is responsible for the design of systems and controls for electronics and electrical systems. He/she creates specifications and drawings for new systems and are often involved with coordinating junior or graduate engineers to assist on specific parts of projects to meet deadlines.


Circuit Design Engineer

Salary range: $92,500-$136,500 per year

A circuit design engineer develops electronic circuitry found in analog devices such as a computer, smartphone, or television. Duties include designing the latest advances in circuits, developing circuit equipment, and troubleshooting after installation. A circuit design engineer may also supervise the manufacturing process in plants and factories, as well as perform safety and cost assessments.


Power Electronics Engineer

Salary range: $100,000-$132,000 per year

Power electronics engineers design and test circuits to use in power electronics systems. They may develop prototypes, find solutions for known flaws in mechanical designs, and collaborate with other engineers to perform cross-functional tasks when testing designs. Power engineers often analyze analog circuitry, work with high-frequency magnetics, and help estimate power losses and overall efficiency as electricity works its way through circuits. Responsibilities also include maintaining accurate documentation of all circuit designs.


Distributed Control System (DCS) Engineer

Salary range: $103,000-$126,500 per year

A DCS engineer oversees a distributed control system (DCS). It’s their job to operate this system to implement process management and control solutions. They typically work in the field at power stations, manufacturing facilities, and similar plants. Job duties involve programming DCS systems, troubleshooting problems, and developing improved processes. This career requires at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering and experience working in a DCS environment.


MEP Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $101,000-$124,000 per year

An MEP electrical engineer works on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Duties usually focus on working to plan and design one or more of these systems for new construction projects. A MEP electrical engineer may work with other engineers and architects to design systems that meet the criteria and requirements set forth by lead engineers and architects. Responsibilities often start with drafting a design for a system using computer-aided design (CAD) software. A MEP electrical engineer is required to visit the work site to oversee the implementation of designs and perform any troubleshooting or changes.


PE Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $90,500-$121,000 per year

A PE electrical engineer is an electrical engineer who has earned a professional engineer accreditation. Professional electrical engineers are responsible for the design of electrical systems or components. As a senior member of an engineering team, he/she works on planning projects, managing document review, and determining approval of the work of junior engineers or designers before production or implementation. A PE electrical engineer may inspect existing electrical components or systems and create reports about them.


Circuit Designer

Salary range: $67,000-$120,000 per year

A circuit designer creates circuit boards for uses ranging from power grids to assembly automation. Responsibilities include following project specifications to develop or improve circuits or circuit boards, troubleshooting the new circuit board, and implementing the new design. A circuit designer may also run simulation software to test the circuit design to ensure it meets the needs of a client.


Electrical Design Engineer

Salary range: $82,000-$118,500 per year

An electrical design engineer designs projects for power distribution and electrical systems. He/she uses software, electrical products, and other equipment to make designs a reality. Job duties involve all aspects of the design process, such as modeling and drafting, creating layouts, and building electrical circuits. The job also entails travel to work sites to oversee the implementation of design projects on jobs.


Control Systems Engineer

Salary range: $83,500-$117,500 per year

A control systems engineer designs, builds, and maintains instrumentation, monitors, and other equipment used to control complex systems. Some examples include navigation networks, production machinery gauges, and computer system monitors. It is the control systems engineer’s job to maintain safe and efficient field operation of the equipment and to ensure the safety of those utilizing the equipment. These skilled engineers are typically well versed in mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering concepts and design.


Controls Engineer

Salary range: $84,000-$110,000 per year

Controls engineers design, develop, and test automated or dynamic systems that are controlled through feedback with sensors or detectors. Examples include automated irrigation systems that can sense moisture levels in soil, or self-driving cars that can navigate congested streets. Controls engineers apply control theory to devices, machines, and processes to attain desired outcomes. They can work on everything from boilers, washing machines, or light switches to complex industrial machinery.


Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Controls Engineer

Salary range: $77,000-$108,500 per year

A PLC controls engineer is responsible for the setup, programming, testing, and implementation of computer control systems used for production automation and industrial equipment design. His/her duties are to implement programs on programmable logic controllers and test whether industrial computers process information and function correctly. A PLC engineer debugs issues and troubleshoots problems that have non-standard solutions. He/she assesses the functionality of electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic systems and may work in numerous fields, including aviation, robotics, energy production, and manufacturing.


Electromechanical Engineer

Salary range: $74,000-$107,500 per year

An electromechanical engineer is responsible to design and build various devices that blend electrical and mechanical components, from computers and soda bottling machines to missile guidance systems and equipment used for gas systems. Job duties include working with other engineers and clients to determine the scope of projects and then designing and building systems that fit customer needs. Qualifications include a degree in electrical engineering, technology, mathematics, or another engineering science. Employers typically prefer candidates to have a few years of experience working with relevant design software to create electrical and mechanical systems.


Electronics Engineer

Salary range: $59,500-$106,500 per year

An electronics engineer creates prototypes for new products in the manufacturing industry or research field. He/she utilizes design, computer, manufacturing, and engineering knowledge to meet product objectives, working to develop new products that are both useful and cost-effective to make. An electronics engineer may specialize in a specific area of electronic engineering, such as semiconductors, navigation systems, handheld devices, engines, or communication systems.


Industrial Electrical Engineer

Salary range: $70,000-$102,000 per year

An industrial electrical engineer’s responsibilities revolve around the design and development of electrical power systems for industrial construction projects. His/her duties are to draw a design to the proper specifications, supervise onsite electrical personnel, prepare equipment usage schedules, train and communicate with staff, and support other electrical engineers. He/she also troubleshoots control panels in existing power systems and evaluate the project to ensure all construction complies with current electrical codes and specifications.

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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